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Beto O’Rourke says Julián Castro’s likely 2020 presidential bid won’t affect his own plans

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U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Friday that his political future won’t be dictated by fellow Texas Democrat Julián Castro’s decision to seriously consider a run for the White House.

“I think it’s something positive for the United States that he can offer and share ideas,” O’Rourke said of Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who also served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama.

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Castro has said he is likely to run for president, and announced Wednesday that he has formed an exploratory committee to consider a bid. He will make an announcement about his decision Jan. 12.

O’Rourke lauded Castro’s service to Texas and the country and said he was proud of the former mayor.

Discussing his own plans with reporters on Friday between two different town hall meetings, O’Rourke said he hasn’t ruled anything out, including a possible challenge to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who is up for re-election in 2020.

“Though it’s now five plus weeks since the [2018] election … I am no closer to deciding,” he said. “I thought I’d have a level of clarity or an epiphany at this point.”

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In November, O’Rourke lost in his race to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, though the closer-than-expected margin inspired many of his supporters to urge O’Rourke to run for president. He said Friday that he’s focused on using his remaining days as a congressman to represent his district. He said he’ll likely have a better idea of what he plans to do afterward.

“Part of it is that we are trying to finish the job and make sure that we honor our responsibilities to the people of El Paso,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to finish out and I am hopeful that, after that, spending some time with family, I’ll know what I can best do for — first and foremost my family — and then the country.”

After speaking with reporters, O’Rourke held his 104th and final town hall in El Paso. He also planned to travel to Ciudad Juárez on Friday to visit with asylum-seekers at a migrant shelter — and to hold another roundtable with reporters after that.

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O’Rourke is scheduled to attend a rally outside the detention center for migrant youth in Tornillo on Saturday and said he plans to return to Washington next week as Congress tries to avert a partial government shutdown. The main reason for the stalemate is funding over President Donald Trump’s promised border wall, which O’Rourke said he will not support.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Not only wrong but crazy’: MSNBC panelists recoil in horror from Trump’s ‘abnormal’ views on foreign policy

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President Donald Trump made a number of puzzling and bizarre statements Tuesday about U.S. foreign policy, and panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" were aghast.

The president canceled a tip to Denmark after its prime minister refused to entertain his offer to buy Greenland, offered a stunningly vapid assessment of the situation in Kashmir, and reiterated his interest in seeing Russia rejoin the G7.

"You can really understand in retrospect why Gen. (James) Mattis just quit (as defense secretary)," said MSNBC analyst Mike Barnacle. "He had to leave. You cannot be surrounded by such abnormalities coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States on a consistent, daily, multiple-times-a-day basis. We cannot make it normal, but there's a new normalcy when you see the president multiple times a day saying things that are absolutely, not only wrong, but crazy."

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‘Nuclear weapons arms race is here’: Russians, anti-nuke experts denounce US missile test

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A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "such tests only proved that from the very start, the Americans were determined to derail the INF Treaty and were making preparations for it."

Nuclear experts and disarmament advocates are warning that the world is witnessing a new arms race after the Pentagon tested a new missile Sunday that would have violated a Cold War-era treaty the Trump administration ditched earlier this month.

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23 Texas cities were targeted in a ‘coordinated ransomware attack’

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The majority of attacks were against small local governments, according to the state's Department of Information Resources.

Cybersecurity experts have been deployed by the state to assess the damage from a "coordinated ransomware attack" that struck 23 Texas cities on Friday, state officials said.

Investigators hadn't determined the origin of the attacks as of Friday evening and were still working to bring cities' systems back online, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Information Resources. The department believes, however, that the attacks came from a "single threat actor."

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